BY DAUD OLATUNJI
Governor Ibikunle Amosun and his predecessor, Gbenga Daniel were once political soul mates who were used by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his 2003 sweep of the Southwest. But following their victory, the two men parted ways and have since been boxing one another using different gloves and political platforms. Their fight is taking a new shape ahead of the 2015 round of general elections
Another battle seems to be in offing ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial election in Ogun State between the incumbent governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun and his predecessor and estranged political associate, Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
This time around, the two political gladiators are not ready to leave a stone unturned as their loyalists have begun surreptitious moves to garner support from the three senatorial districts in the state.
Amosun ,a candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria won the 2011 election when he defeated Daniel’s point man, Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka
popularly called GNI who contested under the platform of Peoples Party of Nigeria ,PPN, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate, Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd).
Two years after, the coast seems clear for Daniel to launch another political attack on his estranged friend, Amosun ,but this time using the platform of Labour Party.
Although, Governor Daniel has not announced his defection from the PDP to Labour Party, but the body language seems to give credence to his impending defection.
Many of his supporters across the state have defected to Labour and there are reports that Isiaka who Amosun trounced in 2011 may also be the arrowhead of the new fight by Daniel.
Remarkably, Daniel’s alleged romp with Labour Party it was learnt has the approval of the presidency which is believed to have positioned him as a top strategist for the 2015 presidential election project. Daniel was President Goodluck Jonathan’s coordinator in 2011.
To concretize his strength in Labour, Vanguard learnt that Daniel recently held a closed door meeting with the National Chairman of the party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu who reportedly offered him the senate ticket for Ogun East senatorial district in 2015.
Daniel’s romance with Labour follows perceptions that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP on whose platform he governed Ogun State for two terms would be inhospitable to him on account of the mutual war of destruction between him and supporters of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Daniel it would be recalled had in the twilight of his regime thrown his weight behind Isiaka on the strong argument of encouraging power shift to Ogun West.
Given his renewed support for Isiaka, the people of Ogun West otherwise known as Yelwa it was learnt may have decided to team up with him and against the incumbent ahead of 2015. This despite the accord reportedly reached between Amosun and leaders of the zone that he, Amosun would support power shift to the zone in 2019.
Some Ogun West leaders, however, seemed to have jettisoned the agreement with Amosun last weekend as they announced their adoption of Isiaka as their governorship candidate for the 2015 election.
He came ahead of a member of the House of Representatives, Abiodun Akinlade who represents Yewa-South-Ipokia constituency in the consideration of the leaders.
Remarkably, the decision was reached in cahoots with some traditional rulers who for strategic reasons preferred to remain behind the scene.
The interactive session which was held in Imeko-Afon, had among others Chief Waliu Lai Taiwo from Ado-Odo/Ota , Olumide Bankole, Ipokia; Chief Lisa Adejobi, Imeko Afon, Mrs Kemi Adeyemi, Yewa North and Alhaji Sunmola Adewale from Yewa South as signatories to the communiqué on the new arrangement.
Relatedly, other leaders from the zone under the aegis of Ogun West Rebirth recently held a closed door meeting with the executive of Labour Party where issues of common benefit were discussed.
Vanguard gathered that, the three hour meeting had both the Chairman of the group, Chief Dapo Oke and the State Chairman of Labour Party, Olabode Simon leading the talks. Following the meetings, the Labour Party it is believed decided zero in on Ogun West for a governorship candidate in 2015.